Posts tagged “Milwaukee County

Murder by the Numbers

Some homicide numbers from 2006 to 2011 spotlight things worth noting.

If you are a killer and want to get away with murder, you may want to set-up shop in Chicago.  WBBM radio reports that the Windy City’s homicide clearance rate was just 30 percent in 2011. If you think this number is horrific, it is a seven percent improvement from 2010, when investigators cleared only 28 percent of Chicago murders.

A cynic might claim that Chicago’s homicide clearance rate has declined as a direct result of a mandate requiring videotaped confessions.  SF’s post concerning former Chicago PD police commander Jon Burge’s interrogation techniques might, in part, explain the significant drop in clearance rates there—down from 80 percent in 1991.

The city of Milwaukee reported 84 homicides in 2011. Sources claim the clearance rate was near 70 percent, which means 26 killers remain at-large to reoffend.  From 1990-1999, Milwaukee homicides claimed the lives of 1,432—an average of 143.2 a year.

Milwaukee’s homicide clearance rate from 1990-1999 was an astonishing 84 percent, which meant, on average, 23 killers remained at large in any given year.  As such, even though Milwaukee’s homicide rate per capita has declined, the number of killers at large in 2011 compared to the average in the 1990s has increased 13 percent.

To get an idea how Milwaukee homicides stack-up, no pun intended, against other areas of Wisconsin consider these numbers as the concealed carry permits arrive in the mail:

  • In 2008, Milwaukee County experienced 74 homicides, causing public officials to laud the decrease. 
  • In 2008, Dane County’s homicide rate soared to 11—a 63.5 percent increase from 2006.   
  • These 2008 numbers indicate that a Milwaukee County resident is 330 percent more likely to fall victim to homicide than one in Dane County.  
  • In 2008, the total numbers of homicides in Eau Claire, Brown, Washington, Waukesha, Qzaukee, and Sheboygan counties totaled just nine.  
  • In 2008, Milwaukee comprised 11.6 percent of Wisconsin’s population, but accounted for 48.6 percent of the state’s homicides.  


Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012